One of my favorite culinary events in Central Florida is the annual Orlando Taste of the Nation, which serves up great food in support of raising funds for the No Kid Hungry campaign.
Orlando Taste of the Nation returns for its 27th year on Saturday, August 27, and features over 40 of Central Florida’s best restaurants and chefs showcasing tasting portions of their best dishes.
The Food and Drink:
There are nine restaurants making their debut at the event: Benihana, Canvas Lake Nona, Eleven and Forte at Reunion Resort, Hemisphere Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport, Nova Scratch Kitchen, The Osprey Tavern, Restaurant ASH, and The Rusty Spoon.
Returning favorites include Capa at Four Seasons Resort Orlando, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar at Pointe Orlando, Highball and Harvest, and Whisper Creek Farms: The Kitchen.
A handful of students from The Second Harvest Culinary Training Program will also be at Orlando’s Taste of the Nation this year to lend the cooking skills they have mastered in Second Harvest’s 14-week program designed to provide qualified, at-risk and economically disadvantaged adults with the culinary and life skills training needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry.
All this wonderful food is accompanied by fine wines, craft beers, and specialty cocktails to sample. Among those participating this year are Cigar City Brewing, Crooked Can Brewery, Orlando Brewery, Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, Lakeridge Winery, Onli Beverage Co. and my favorite from last year, Tito’s Vodka. Many of the restaurants will also be offering signature beverages.
I’m happy to be returning as a Social Ambassador for this year’s Taste of the Nation. You can read my review of last year’s event for more information (and food photos!).
Also at the Event:
In addition to ticket sales, this years Orlando Taste of the Nation is offering several mini-fundraisers during the evening.
A fully automated mobile silent auction featuring signed memorabilia, stays at upscale hotels, dining experiences, rounds of golf on area courses, and exotic adventures and getaways.
The Giving Tree raffle, sponsored by Edible Orlando, returns for the second year inviting guests to win a taste of Orlando’s most popular establishments. For a $50 donation, guests can select a Giving Tree envelope hanging from a towering tree containing a gift certificate ranging from $25 to $300 in value.
The event’s ever-popular Instant Wine Cellar game offers participants a chance to win more than 150 bottles of wine valued at more than $2,500. There are only 250 chances to win this exquisite wine cellar. Each key is a $25 donation.
Guests can also win fine bottles of wine with the all-new Ring Toss for Wine fundraiser. Rings are available for purchase to toss onto wine bottles ?$5 for two tosses or $10 for six tosses. When a ring lands around a bottle neck, the guest wins a bottle of wine to take home.
The Golden TIcket:
For the first time, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation introduces the Golden Ticket Giveaway, offering an exciting new way to win a pair of complimentary tickets to this year’s event.
Guests who dine at select, participating establishments can ask their server for a Golden Ticket to receive a concealed envelope that may contain a pair of tickets to this year’s event. Chances of winning are 1 in 10.
Follow hashtags #OrlTaste and #GoldenTicket for a list of participating restaurants and updates on remaining Golden Tickets. The Golden Ticket Giveaway runs from Aug. 1 – 22, 2016.
Tickets are $150 per person, and can be purchased at NoKidHungry.org/Orlando. Every dollar raised fights hunger and homelessness in the Central Florida.
Orlando’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry is the region’s longest-running food and beverage event raising funds and awareness for children’s nutrition programs provided by national beneficiary Share Our Strength, regional beneficiary Florida Impact, and local beneficiaries Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
Jeff Bridges, No Kid Hungry’s national spokesperson, shares a brief, powerful message about the lives of children in need, and the simple way that anyone can help in this video:
The Fine Print:
Saturday, August 27, 2016
6:45pm – 10pm
Orlando World Center Marriott
8701 World Center Dr., Orlando
Cocktail / Semi-Formal
1. Artist’s Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
2. B Resort & Spa/American Kitchen
4. Black Fire Brazilian Steakhouse
5. Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine
6. Café Tu Tu Tango
7. Canvas Lake Nona
8. Capa at Four Seasons Resort Orlando
9. The Capital Grille
10. CFHLA Food & Beverage Council
11. Cress Restaurant
12. Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar at Pointe Orlando
13. Eddie V’s
14. Eleven at Reunion Resort
15. Empress Sissi Cake & Specialty Pastries
16. Forte at Reunion Resort
17. FreshPoint Central Florida
18. Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center/Old Hickory Steakhouse
19. Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center/MOOR
20. Hemisphere Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport
21. Highball and Harvest at Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
22. JW Marriott Grande Lakes Orlando, featuring Whisper Creek Farms: The Kitchen
23. K Restaurant and Wine Bar
24. Marlow’s Tavern
25. Nestle Professional
26. Nova Scratch Kitchen
27. Orlando World Center Marriott
28. The Osprey Tavern
29. RA Sushi
30. Red Wing Restaurant
31. Restaurant ASH
32. Rosen Shingle Creek ?A Land Remembered
33. Rosen Shingle Creek ?Cala Bella Restaurant
34. The Rusty Spoon
35. Seasons 52 Fresh Grill
36. SeaWorld Orlando
37. Tapa Toro Tapas Bar and Paella Pit
38. Taverna Opa Orlando
39. The Whiskey
40. Three 2 OH Ice Cream
41. Universal Orlando
42. Yak & Yeti
Orlando’s Taste of the Nation is presented nationally by Citi and Sysco and sponsored by OpenTable, San Pell/Acqua Panna and media sponsor Food Network. Special thanks to local sponsors Darden Restaurants, Regions Bank, Harris Rosen Foundation, Noble Marketing, Disney, FreshPoint, Hilton Grand Vacations, Bright House, Darden Federal Credit Union, Ernst & Young, Patriot National, Rosen Hotels & Resorts and Universal Orlando Resort.
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